Friday, May 16, 2008

Bacon Triptych Auctioned for Record $86 Million at Sotheby’s

What's this say about art and the economy?

New York City - A 1976 triptych by Francis Bacon brought $86.3 million on Wednesday night at Sotheby’s, becoming the most expensive work of contemporary art ever sold at auction and a retort to doomsayers who had predicted that the art market would falter seriously this season because of broad economic anxieties. “Recession? What recession?” Barbara Gladstone, a Chelsea dealer, said jokingly as she was leaving the salesroom. ....

After the sale, as the crowds were milling around talking about the evening, everyone seemed stunned by the large sums of money that were spent. “I don’t understand why it did so well if the economy was mediocre,” said Mr. Mugrabi. “Maybe people feel safer with art.”

By . . .Carol Vogel / NY Times

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